Google AdWords for Industries - Shopping Campaign/ Product Listing Ads

2019 Jan. 08

We have covered a lot about how to strategize and manage AdWords for Search Campaigns for different industries. Shopping for AdWords is relatively new and a lot different from search campaign because of many reasons and one of the major one being that there are no keywords involved while creating shopping campaigns.

Before we dive deep into the complexity of Product Listing/Shopping Ads, let’s understand what they really are.

What is shopping campaign?

Google Shopping in the early 2000s was popular by the names Google Product Search, Google Products, and Froogle. In 2012, it was improvised and rebranded to Google Shopping as we know it today. Unlike earlier, it is no longer free and vendors have to pay for advertising just like AdWords. Below is an image comparison of Google shopping ads vs. Google search ads.



If you are a retailer, you can use Google shopping to showcase your online and local inventory and boost traffic to your website and also help find yourself better-qualified customers/leads.

When getting started, there are specific steps to follow. You will use your Merchant Center data to create a campaign in AdWords. Once your campaign is live, Google will display your shopping Ads where your potential customers can see what products you are selling.

  • Ads will have an image of your product.

  • They will also display title, description, price, store name, etc.

These Shopping ads provide a user with more descriptive details of the product you are selling in an efficient way, which compels the customer to Click on the Ad and thereby improves your CTR. After a summary of how things work, let us dig into the details of how it works.

ABC of Shopping Campaign

Things you need to run Google shopping campaign are:

  1. A Google AdWords account - It is fairly simple to create an AdWords account on your own. Just follow these 4 basic steps to create an AdWords account and you will be ready to start your journey. If you already have an AdWords account, move to the next step.

  2. A Google Merchant center - This step is mandatory when you wish to run Shopping/ PLA ads in AdWords. Google merchant center contains all product related information which can be used for advertising on Google. By linking Google merchant center, information about your products from the brand, category, Google product category, etc can be used to segregate products in the campaign for better performance. Here is a guide for you to Set-up Google Merchant center.

Benefits of shopping campaign over other AdWords campaigns

Better qualified leads: As a merchant, you can increase the quality of your leads by featuring product information directly in your ads to help shoppers make informed purchase decisions. This makes shoppers more likely to complete a purchase on your site. For example, when Sally does a Google search for the fishbowl, she might see Shopping ads from merchants selling fishbowls. She can tell which fishbowl fits her taste just by looking at the picture. She can also quickly see whether the fishbowl fits her budget by looking at the price. This means that by the time Sally clicks on the ad, she has a good sense of the product and its cost, which puts her further down the purchasing funnel compared to the average web user.

Easy retail-centric campaign management: Instead of keywords, Shopping ads use the product attributes you defined in your Merchant Center data feed to show your ads on relevant searches. Browse your product inventory directly in AdWords and create product groups for the items you want to bid on.

Broader presence: More than one of your Shopping ads can appear for a given user search and, if relevant, a Shopping ad and a text-ad can also appear at the same time. This means your reach with shoppers for a single search could double.

Robust reporting and competitive data: See how your products are performing at any level of granularity you want. For example, you can see how many clicks a particular brand of high-heeled shoes got just by filtering your products view -- no new product groups needed. Use benchmarking data to gain insights into your competitive landscape. Identify growth opportunities with impression share data and the Bid Simulator tool.

Brand Equity: Why products ads are the future? - SEM for product ads impact greatly on brand equity. People usually skip conventional search ads to move to organic results, but product ads are different, they are more visual and all the 7 ads are shown together in a row, hence creating greater impact.

Why Shopping Campaign for e-commerce?

Foremostly, it is essential to understand why AdWords is important. As you can see below, Google has an 80.6% Search engine share, marketing on Google only makes sense. And since Paid marketing can yield quicker results, AdWords is your best bet unless your SEO is exceptionally well. Even if your SEO is amazing, AdWords opens up an entirely new channel which is equally powerful for you.

Search engine market share

Now that we know how important it is for you to be on AdWords as an industry leader or even a local vendor let’s look at the spent breakdown of top 10 industries(below).


Here I would like to highlight that $11.7 billion is spent on shopping specific industries of the $22 billion spent by top industries, which accounts for approx 53% of market share. Thereby pronouncing how AdWords is huge marketing platform and Google Shopping or Product Listing Ads are a big part of it.

P.S. Google is also running a beta version for PLA ads for services as well.


Top AdWords spenders

The above stats/table/data shows us that the market share is enormous for Google AdWords and Shopping, but let us also look at some more facts to back it up:

  • 86% of consumers use the Internet to find a local business (WebVisible survey)

  • 72% of consumers prefer to find information on local merchants via search. (WebVisible survey)

  • About 97% of Google’s total revenues come from advertising - Why is this statistic so important?  It highlights the importance of Google AdWords to Google’s business.  Since Google depends so greatly on Google AdWords, that means Google’s focus and priority are on maintaining and continually improving the AdWords tool.

  • For high commercial intent search queries, the top three ad spots take about 40% of the clicks on the page

  • Ever wonder how much of the Paid Search budget advertisers are devoting to Product Listing Ads (PLA)? 63% of the budget on product listing ads

Is Google Shopping available across the Globe?

Unfortunately, Google Shopping is not supported in all the countries across the globe, but Google is expanding its coverage rapidly. Below are the  countries where Google shopping is currently live:

A - Austria, Australia

B - Belgium, Brazil

C - Canada, Czech Republic

D - Denmark

F - France

G - Germany

I - India, Italy

J - Japan

M - Mexico

N - Netherlands, Norway

P - Poland

R - Russia

S - Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

T - Turkey

U - UK, USA

Is PLA good for you?

This question is one that lies in the grey area. Let us still give it a try.

  • If you sell products in categories like automotive, baby supplies, tools, or furniture and you’re not listing on Google Shopping, you’re likely missing out on significant revenue since these categories do not have very high searches or clicks. It only makes sense for you to start your shopping campaign without any further delay.

  • If you sell more competitive products such as Apparel, or items which get a lot of clicks (e.g., intimate apparel) you may have more difficulty getting your Product Listing Ads campaign to get to that sweet spot. However, that doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t use PLA. Since the competition is higher for you, you might have to pay higher per click, but making those clicks count is entirely in your control. Here is my article on creating an effective Google shopping campaign for Apparel Industry

Having said that, PLA may not always yield profitability for you. The result may vary from industry to industry or business to business. It is up to you to make smart choices and grab the best of what Google shopping offers.  Here below are a few of my articles with tips and tricks for you to create an effective PLA campaign for your industry.

  • Google Shopping Campaign for Apparel Industry

  • Google Shopping campaign for Automotive

  • Google Shopping Campaign for Furniture

  • Google Shopping Campaign for Tools

  • Google Shopping Campaign for Baby Products

And more to come.

Once you have these up and running, Google decides when and how to display your ads, which is terrifying as being a vendor or spender, you do not have control over keywords..Google solely determines when to show a shopping ad. Well, it may seem like a big concern, but there is not a thing that a well-structured shopping campaign cannot overcome.

Conclusion

This short guide was to get you started on Google Shopping Campaign/Product Listing Ads. Creating shopping campaign can be a tedious task to get right. To read more about how to create a step by step shopping campaign and industry agnostic best practices, go to our shopping - campaign creation article.

If you still are not sure how to start or to take your AdWords campaign to the next level, consider signing up with AdNabu. You can automate campaign creation and optimize within minutes.


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